Synkroniciti is delighted to welcome poet Louhi Pohjola. “Wild” features three of her richly textured poems, laden with anthropomorphism and mythic touches. “Overture to the Age of an Unknowable Future” is a mesmerizing set of seven couplets which conjures the mystical coastal environment of Newfoundland, complete with words drawn from The Flanker Dictionary of Newfoundland English, a dictionary which brings together Indigenous and English languages. It is fascinating to encounter these words: depths of meaning and playfulness abound, drawing us into territory that is both compelling and foreign. “The flicy wood duck eschews meadowsweet and bunch-berry seeds and baffed out pine martens huff for old trees.” Continuing with “Chiaroscuro on the Morice River, British Columbia, Canada, 2022,” Louhi paints a landscape of natural beauty mutated by the effects of an oil pipeline. “The silken weft of river trimmed with lichen-embroidered stones wraps around the bleached warp of ivory pipes buried deep in the resigned soil…” Faced with the conflict between healthy beauty and profit, what will humanity choose and at what cost? The final poem is titled in Finnish, “Kesä Ilta on Hyvin Kaunis Tänään (The Summer Evening is Very Beautiful Today),” and we are again transported, this time to a birch forest. Louhi invokes the sensibility of childhood, when the forest “held sureties.” As we grow up, do we grow better, or do we learn to conform to a human standard that has little room for imagination and beauty, even, ultimately, little room for life? Louhi’s skill weaves together echoes of science and mythology, ripe with alliteration and rhythm, to produce poems that are part incantation, part warning. We cannot afford to lose wildness.
Experience Louhi’s enchanting poetry in Synkroniciti’s “Wild” issue: https://synkroniciti.com/the-magazine/purchase-individual-issues/. You don’t want to miss this emerging voice.
Louhi Pohjola was born in Montreal, Canada, to Finnish immigrant parents. She was a cell and molecular biologist before teaching sciences and humanities in a small high school in southern Oregon. She is an avid fly-fisherwoman and river rock connoisseur. She enjoys fiber arts, reading, and chamber music. Louhi lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and her temperamental terrier. The latter thinks that he is a cat.